Germany’s most skilled, yet totally brutal Death Metal machine PAVOR is finally back on track again after a way too long period of silence. They have a fantastic new album out ("Furioso") which Hacker already praised like crazy in our review section. So, instead of repeating his totally justified comments here over and over again I better let the band’s bass player extraordinaire Rainer Landfermann give you all necessary additional information… Read on!
Greetings Rainer! It’s great to see that PAVOR is finally back in action after all those years. What have you been up to over the last years?
"Hi Frank!! Well, we have all been busy with jobs / studying and various other stuff, and also working on the new album of course… concerning PAVOR, the last years have been nothing but the calm before the storm called "Furioso"…!! "
When and why did you exactly stop with PAVOR’s activities? Did the band ever split up for real or was it more like, that you all just took a longer break from it?
"Actually, we did never stop at all and it wasn’t a split or break or anything like that. We just took things slowly and easy – we were and are not in a rush at all. Some things that furthermore contributed to the delay were some band members having to concentrate on their jobs and being forced to move within Germany / spend time abroad because of that, so PAVOR became a ‘long-distance band’, and also the fact that the scene became really lame and boring, so we focussed more on ourselves than on having to get the new album out as soon as possible. In the end, we just took the freedom to let it all consume as much time as it needed… and even though PAVOR has been running very slowly and with a very limited amount of available time in the last years, it has always been an important factor in our lives – and we have made use of the increased experience and skills in that period of time to improve our material to the status that you can now hear on "Furioso"!"
What actually lead to the decision that the time is right now to come back with new material? What has changed for the better ever since you stopped writing / recording the last time?
"As suggested above, it wasn’t a decision but the result of us working without pressure of time under the outlined conditions. We started to work on new material directly after we finished the songs for our first album, and it was obvious to us all the time that we would release the new album "when it’s done". Of course we have all become much better musically and technically after nine years, and while the style of PAVOR is still the same, we have managed to push it all to further extremes – even rawer and more brutal on the one hand, and on the other hand much more virtuoso, technical and complex!"
Ever since the band’s origin PAVOR used to come up with material, that always left quite a few people speechless in terms of your musical skills… But unlike many other highly talented musicians, who go for Progressive Rock / Metal, Jazz / Fusion or whatever, you decided to incorporate those skills into an overall very brutal Death Metal style… What lead to this decision? Do you really think the average Death Metal fan appreciates a band more that musically stands out than one that just delivers straight ahead brutality?
"Well, it was more of a natural thing to us – we were playing our total death style from the beginning and just got better in all concerns. And as we know exactly what we want and are obviously not interested at all in changing our style any couple of months, PAVOR evolved into what it is today! You know, let’s say you subdivide music in four categories, with "great songwriting: yes / no" and "great technical execution: yes / no" as the distinguishing factors – while there is obviously a lot of great music in the second best category "great songwriting but weak technicality", there can be no doubt that the ultimate music will have to shine in both aspects. And that’s what PAVOR is about. To be more exact, the SONG is the most important thing, and the technical side is just our natural way of doing it. In the end, technical skills just help you to stretch the limits – you can play what you want to play, without restrictions. PAVOR has got riffs that no one else would ever come up with, and that surely is a good thing! What is especially cool is that a lot of people that use to listen to ‘primitive’ music only, value PAVOR for the uncompromising brutality and grim and ugly darkness, and even connoisseurs of jazz and classical music that are not into metal at all appreciate the musical complexity, acuteness and finesse. And of course there are all the guys in between those extremes haha. But virtuosity and brutality are NOT two qualities that have to hinder each other anyway! A PAVOR flyer back in 1994 stated that our "virtuosity intensifies the insane blackness and brutality to a point others will never be able to reach", and that still sums it up pretty well."
Did the statement that Gene Simmons of KISS told the press after the KISS reunion a couple of years ago ("We’re gonna show them how the big boys do it!") had any influence on bringing PAVOR back to life?
"Actually, no, haha. It was more comparable to a statement of Karl Friedrich Gauss, who once said "I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them" – and at one point, we just knew and arrived…!"
When did you exactly start writing the material for your incredible new album "Furioso"? I remember that you released the track ‘Perplexer: Perdition Projectile’ back in 1999 already on a 1-track promo CD… So, did you already have the entire material for the album written around that time and just shopped that promo around in order to secure a record deal?
"We already had some parts of songs from "Furioso" when we recorded "A Pale Debilitating Autumn" (and of course, we also had our 1989 track ‘Crucified Hopes’ that also is on "Furioso"…). In 1999, most of the material for the album was written, but not completely arranged, not all lyrics finished, etc. With the "Perplexer: Perdition Projectile" promo, we just wanted to check for some reactions, send it to a couple of friends, etc…"
‘Perplexer: Perdition Projectile’ also appeared on one of the "Unerhört" compilation CDs by Germany’s "Rock Hard" magazine (which always features the best unsigned acts) and you furthermore won a contest by "Heavy, oder was?!", another big German Metal magazine… Did all that help your motivation in bringing the band back to life full force maybe?
"It was nice to get that kind of reactions by such big magazines, but motivating us wasn’t really necessary, the release of "Furioso" was just a matter of time anyway…!"
How was the response on PAVOR when you played the opening act at the "Bang Your Head" festival?
"It was great – the place was crowded and we kicked some ass. Especially when there are relatively many people present that haven’t seen us before, it’s always great to look into some perplexed faces after the first song is over haha!"
What surprised me the most is the fact that "Furioso" once again ended up being a self financed release… I mean, didn’t you receive any offers because of those just mentioned two events? Was there really no label willing to invest in your talent or was it more like that you weren’t satisfied with their offers?
"We didn’t get any interesting offers after that, no… but that wasn’t a problem. We did not send out our new material to any label, it was clear that we wanted to release it ourselves. It is important for us to keep as much under our total control as possible, from production, release dates / deadlines to artwork etc etc. We’re surely not doing this for money or "getting big", and especially with the opportunities of the internet, the "need" for a label becomes relative anyway."
The origin of ‘Crucified Hopes’ already dates back to 1989, but it wasn’t even featured on your one and only demo tape from 1992 / ’93, so what can you tell us about that particular track and why you decided to bring that up again now, instead of ‘Cloud Forms’ and / or ‘Inchoate Life Disclaimed’ for instance, tracks that both also remained unreleased on an album so far…?
"’Crucified Hopes’ is an old PAVOR classic that we have played live quite often… We knew that we wanted to have it on our 2nd album, similar to ‘Symbols Of Depravity’ (written in 1987) on the 1st one. The main arrangement of the song has not changed at all, so this is the real thing from 1989, just with some slightly updated guitar leads and bass lines! Actually we have two more songs from that early period which never got released on any official output, but I don’t think we’ll ever use them – I guess there won’t be any more re-recordings of old songs in the future."
Have you personally followed the underground Metal scene while PAVOR was inactive? Do you also belong to those people who are pretty much fed up with what’s going on musically these days or did you discover any new acts that really impressed you in one way or another?
"Yes I did follow it, but not as much as in the past… the huge majority is just so boring and unoriginal and irrelevant nowadays… so many bands are totally overrated. Luckily there are still some exceptions, great artists, concerning both ‘technical’ and straight & simple music! For example, I can highly recommend Rusty Cooley and Francesco Fareri (instrumental guitar hero stuff, both have one great album out) or The Scream Clan (a killer kick-ass hard rock band from New Jersey)… check out the "recommendations" section of our website for more!"
After all those years you also have a website on the net now (www.pavor.com) – do you personally use the internet in order to check out new music / bands / music related information? How important is a website for you? Do you think that it needs to be done on a professional level as well in order to attract more people’s interest or is it mainly the information that counts?
"Yes absolutely, of course I do… the internet has become very important and will get more important in the future. For us it was no question that our website had to be high quality and professional (and we’re still working on it, the website has just been online for a couple of weeks now), just as anything else related to PAVOR."
How about PAVOR’s live activities? Have you already played any shows lately? Any upcoming gigs planned?
"We didn’t do any shows for a while, but we’re currently getting ready to play live again, so watch out for some perplexing PAVOR performances in 2004!! " (including one on the VOICES 10th Anniversary Festival on January 31, 2004 in Bremen! – Frank)
Ok, Rainer – I guess that’s all for now. I just hope that there won’t be another ten years until we get to hear new PAVOR material. The closing comments are yours. All the best! May quality prevail!
"There were only nine years between our albums, not ten haha!! Yeah, let’s hope so, but no matter when new PAVOR material will be released, you can be sure it will PERPLEX and KILL!! Thanks for the support and all the best to you too Frank!! For more info on PAVOR (including mp3s) and how to order our albums, visit our website www.PAVOR.com!"
Interview & all live pics: Frank Stöver