TERRORIZER? No, WORLD DOWNFALL, one of the best German newcomer bands since a long time blew me away with their first album "Last Step Before The Fall" and with the release of their 2nd CD "Beyond Salvation" I thought it's time to ask their vocalist Lohm some details about his band. Make sure to check out www.worlddownfall.de afterwards and download their songs for free and spread their virus!!! This is true underground spirit!!
Hi there Lohm, how did you start 2007? Everything fine?
"Thanx. I'm fine. I just finished university and in February I'll start to work as a social worker in a youth club."
You recently released your 2nd CD "Beyond Salvation". Please tell some words about it. How's the response so far?
"The response is great so far. And we are really happy with the result of the new record. But for us it's not really new anymore because we started the recordings in the end of 2005. So you can see it took a very long time from the first recording sessions to the release of "Beyond Salvation". The problem was that we did the recordings in several separate sessions - starting with drums in December 05 and last but not least vocals in July 06 - and because of a lack of time it was difficult to find dates to record. Anyway, in the end we managed it."
On the track 'Your Shadow Moves Faster Than Mine' Angela Gossow of ARCH ENEMY contributes the guest vocals. How did you get in touch with her and what was the reason for you to involve her on the recordings to that song?
"As you might know Angela grew up in our area. So we have known each other for a very long time. I got to know her when she played in Asmodina. Then some years passed without contact. But in the end of 2005 she visited her family in Cologne. She's still in touch with Heike, a friend of both of us. In the end we met again one evening, had some pizza and quite a few beers. That was the point from which we kept in touch. And after Dark Tranquillity cancelled their support part for the Arch Enemy tour, Angela did her best to make it possible that we could support Arch Enemy and Trivium on their German dates. Then, in 2006, there was a Pungent Stench show here in Cologne. Angela was also there and after 200 beers and some other strange activities I asked her to do some guest vocals on our record… And here we go."
As soon as your new CD was released you also made it available as free download on your homepage www.worlddownfall.de. Why do you share it for free?
"Why not? Well, we don't earn money with our music, it's fun, so we share it with everybody who wants it. You can also copy our CD and give it to your friends. And it is easier for people who live in other countries. So they don't need to pay expensive postage and shit. We cannot give you a CD for free, because then we have to pay the postage, but you can download our songs and spread the virus…"
Besides offering both CDs as free and legal download you printed the following sentence on both CDs: "Feel free and encouraged to copy this recording for everyone who asks for it. Spread the virus. No copyright." What do you want to achieve with such a sentence? What's the reason why you act different than other bands who are strictly against sharing their songs online?
"We got many reasons to print this sentence. First: Every record, every copy, every song you play to another guy is promotion. Second: This is also a statement against the exaggerated copyright hysteria the 'oh-so-poor' music industry is spreading. And it's a statement against musicians who think they are the big kings 'cause of releasing one shitty CD. Do you really think that there is anyone out there who will earn money with covering and stealing your shit? I mean we are talking about Grindcore and not about Germoneys next superstars…"
Who came up with your name WORLD DOWNFALL and why?
"For me Terrorizer's "World Downfall" is one of the best Grindcore releases ever. But the birth of World Downfall as our band name was before my time. I think it was our former bass player André who came along with the idea to cover 'Storm Of Stress' from the Terrorizer-album. Afterwards they chose World Downfall because it sounds good and has some kind of content and message to transport."
Your first CD "Last Step Before The Fall" was pretty successful, at least highly appreciated by a lot of fans and critics. How was the process of writing songs for the new album? Did you feel any pressure?
"We're very happy with the result of the last CD and the pressing of 1.000 copies is sold out - we've got no more copies left. Besides of the fact that all reviews and most reactions were positive, we should not forget the fact that we are an underground band. So I think speaking about success is overdone. I'm not involved in the songwriting. Sven and Kevin are writing our songs and in the end Jan and I mention what we are thinking about it… I don't think that we felt any pressure or shit because we just play the musick we like to play. The songs represent what we are actually listening to and what we like. Sometimes it's more modern, sometimes more oldschool…"
I still like the first album a little bit more than the 2nd one, especially because this is the better follower of TERRORIZER's "World Downfall" as their 2nd album "Darker Days Ahead". What do you think about this and what do you think about their new release?
"To be honest I cannot tell you… At the moment I prefer our new songs - but with some distance there are a lot of songs I like from our first record. When you play some songs for a couple of times they might get boring after a while, but after some months without playing the songs you'll like them again. But I don't think that our first record is a better follower of Terrorizers "World Downfall". Sure, we are explicitly influenced by Terrorizer, but we are another band. "Darker Days Ahead" got a lot of typical Terrorizer-styled songs; especially as there are some songs from their demos. The problem is that today one got a different expectation of a new Terrorizer record. But if you really sit down and listen close to "Darker Days Ahead" you'll hear that it is the same songwriting as on the first record…. Only the sound is different, more Metal."
Please tell me about your influences besides TERRORIZER.
"We all listen to a lot of different kinds of musick. In general the band is influenced by Nasum, Slayer, Brutal Truth and so on. Those are bands we all are listening to. As far as musick in general is concerned, everything we are listening to at the moment influences our playing and our musical ideas. It happens very often that we are currently listening to an album and are influenced by the style. So Sven or Kevin make a guitar riff or a drum beat that sounds like this band. No matter if we do it consciously or unconsciously, a lot of our riffs were created like this. My personal faves are bands like early Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Heresy, Drop Dead, Brutal Truth, Agathocles, Doom, E.N.T., Cryptic Slaughter and lots of other bands. The pure energy of Grind fascinated me from the beginning on and I was impressed by the old D.I.Y. movement. But I do not only listen to Grindcore. I listen to a lot of other and different music styles from melodic HC to brutal Death Metal. I like bands like Slayer as well as Kiss or Laibach…From old chool to new school…"
Is it ok for you that you always get compared to TERRORIZER? Though I have to say that in my eyes your new CD isn't as much "TERRORIZER" as the first one.
"For me it's a compliment when someone compares us with Terrorizer. As I told before we are influenced by them but I think we are not a cover band."
The last year was a great Grindcore-year with great releases from ROTTEN SOUND, GENERAL SURGERY, GADGET, REGURGITATE and tons more. What's your opinion about Grindcore and how far do you think you can go?
"Not only the last year bred some great grind releases. But you´re right - Rotten Sound or Gadget did really brilliant jobs. How far can Grindcore go? Good question… I think it is and should always be a sound for the underground. For me it´s not only musick; it´s some kind of attitude and lifestyle."
Although I would consider WORLD DOWNFALL as a band still deep in the underground I think it's amazing to see that you tour and play live a lot. What were the greatest shows you did so far? Tell some anecdotes.
"To me playing live is the most important thing in doing this band. You get the chance to travel around and meet a lot of different people with different attitudes. We got the chance to play some great festivals, like the Soul Grinding Festival in France organized by the Inhumate guys. That was fucking amazing… or the unbelievable Obscene Extreme Fest in Czech Republic. All the shows we did in our home club, the AJZ Bahndamm in Wermelskirchen were a blast und surely the shows with Arch Enemy were a totally different experience."
Do you play any cover tunes on your live gigs?
"As long as there is a fucked up company like the Gema I don't know what to answer right now."
How do you think is it possible for a Grindcore band to develop without wimping out? Up to now I can only think of one band which succeeded so far: NASUM!
"In my opinion it is important that you go your own way. You should follow your own feelings. I guess it is hard for a musician to limit himself by saying I can't play this 'cause then I'm wimping out. Stagnation is contra productive to a creative process musicians got in general. And keep in mind that the kind of musick you like depends on your personal musick taste. So if there is a musician who wants to play a different kind of musick in some years, because he does not like the old shit anymore, he should do it… otherwise he wouldn't be authentic. Personally I got a problem with bands which change their style and ideals completely during the years. To be consequent they should change their name, too. But that´s my opinion. Everyone should make his own decision about that. And I know it´s easy for me to say because I am not a musician. But you are right; there are just a few bands which developed successfully. Besides of Nasum - for me - Bolt Thrower is an excellent example of a band, that creates a timeless sound and more important: They did not change their ideals."
Please tell me your comments about the following bands:
"Grindcore gods. Jesse rest in peace!"
"We got the chance to play together with these Swedish Grindcore masters. They represented the more modern way of Grindcore. Mieszko rest in peace!"
"Horrified" was one of the first real Death Metal records."
"I prefer their first two records. A fact why my band mates laugh about me and say I got a sick taste of musick."
WOLFPACK / WOLFBRIGADE
"My favourite Swedish Crust band. I'll never forget the show they did in Wermelskirchen on their first Germoney tour. It was together with their original vocalist who was drunk as fuck during the complete tour. During one song he was sleeping on stage. Up the horns!!!"
"We shared stage on last year's Obscene Extreme Fest. Great band."
It really wonders me that you haven't signed to a bigger label yet. No interest from them or no interest from you?
"It's not because we have no interest. We already had some contacts to some labels… in the beginning there were two small ones who promised us to do a 7" EP. But you know, in the so called scene there are a lot of dickheads who promise a lot and in the end nothing happens.
How does the future look for WORLD DOWNFALL? What are your upcoming plans?
"Because of some university shit we have a lack of time until summer this year… but I hope we'll stay together as long as possible and play as much as possible. I don't care about the whole business stuff, or success… I just want to have fun together with my friends and band mates, meet different people from all over the world and destroy tons of beer."
OK Lohm, thanks for the interview. I hope you enjoyed answering these questions for Voices From The Darkside. Is there anything I forgot to ask or is there anything left for you to tell? In other words: the last words are yours!
"Thomas. Thanx a lot for your interests in World Downfall and all your support. Grind the enemy and fight fascism!!!"
Interview: Thomas Ehrmann
Pics: Marc Gärtner
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