Skullwinx – Interview –
Hailz and welcome to Acier Doux ! Since you play in a pretty band, an introduction to the nauseance, its music and concepts would be a needed first step to enter the bowels of this interview ?
Skullwinx was formed in 2012 in Tegernsee, Germany by lead guitarist Lennart Hammerer and drummer Kilian Osenstätter. The current lineup was completed in 2013 with Severin Steger – rythm guitar, Johannes Haller – vocals and Konstantin Kárpáty – bass guitar. The band plays a style of metal that can be called “Epic Speed Metal” with influences from bands like Trouble, Warlord, Running Wild and Grave Digger. In 2014 the band released its first full-time album called “The Missions of Heracles” which tells the tale of the greek mythological hero Hercules. Two years later in 2016 the second and current album “The Relic” came out, with songs about germanic tales like the Song of the Nibelungs.
What motivated you to play Epic Speed Metal (wich is my fav Meta genre) and form a band ? Was it some specific bands/ musicians or was it due to other reasons ?
Our motivation for playing Epic Heavy Metal is basicly that we all can relate to the genre and have a natural approach towards it. I don´t think that there were specific bands that inspired us to play this genre. We all have quite diverse taste in music, so everyone brings in different influences, so Epic Speed Metal is what we eventually came out with that suited us the most.
Your newest Album ‘’ The Relic ‘’ was recorded at 2016 , and the production is aggressive, compressed, and full Epic ! In what kind of conditions was it recorded ?
We wanted our second album to be more mellowed and mature, so we took more time composing the songs, tweaking here and there where we thought it might be necessary and went into the studio only when we convinced that the songs were the way we wanted them. When we started recording we had a quite strict time schedule, so we had to be very disciplined and accurate. This is also a reason why we only wanted to start recording when the songs are truly finished, so that we didn´t have to do certain adjustments. Although the schedule was quite strict, the atmosphere in the studio was quite relaxed.
If one pays attention to this Album , he’ll notice Skullwinx is really tight! The songs are structured an efficient wa y! Does it take a lot of time to have the songs tight and all musicians synchronized ? How many times do you rehearse each weak ?
I suppose you do not smoke or drink that much in your rehearsal room…Johannes : Some songs take longer to get them just right. I can´t remember how often we were rehearsing “The Relic of an Angel” before we really nailed it. But normally it doesn´t take us that much time to learn new songs, because we have such a great synergy within our band that helps us to play together quite effortless. We rehearse once a week, sometimes twice a week or maybe more when important shows are ahead. Oh we are no strangers to smoking and drinking in our rehearsal room. How much we smoke and drink always depends on how disciplined we feel at the moment. When we were studying our songs for the album, we barely did something else than playing, but of course we like to party sometimes.
Are you rather a slow or fast band when composing music? Do several members of the band contribute, or is there a main composer?
Our main composer is our lead guitarist Lenny. I would say he is a quite fast composer because he is very creative and he loves to write music. But what can take us some time is discussing the songs and wether we want to add or change something. This is where the rest of the band contributes to the songs. We try out several things to get a feeling for what might work better or what feels better for us to play.
Concerning the kinds of music Skullwinx plays, I detected some Heavy Metal , some Power Metal , and some more or less modern Traditionnel Heavy Metal parts ! Tell us more about your influences ?
Our influences are quite diverse, because we all have our personal preferences of course. Bands that we all share our love for are for example Running Wild, Pretty Maids, Manilla Roador Virgin Steele. Lenny gets a lot of influences from bands like Trouble and Candlemess, Konsty (bass) is really into Glam Metal, Sevi (rythm) monstly listens to bands like Tygers of Pan Tang or Wishbone Ash, Kili is really into Doom and Folk, but also modern Power Metal and I really enjoy bands like Vanden Plas, Blind Guardian or Orden Ogan.
Concerning the kinds of music Skullwinx plays, I detected some Heavy Metal , some Power Metal , and some more or less modern Tradionnal Heavy Metal parts! Tell us more about your influences ?
Once we studied a song it´s quite easy for us to get in the right mood you need for the style of the song again. Therefore we mostly rehearse the songs we want to play at our next show but when we want to play something else, it doesn´t need that much time to get it right again.
To me, Epic Speed Metal is not something you listen to for fun, like when you get up in the morning, or take a shower. Epic Heavy Metal is everything except catchy entertainment music if you know what I mean. It is a powerfull art form that’s charged with feelings and emotions, and to truly enjoy it, you have to sit down and listen carefully…What’s your reaction when meeting a fan who seems to have felt and enjoyed the Skullwinx vibe ? Is it important for you to know how others perceive your creations ?
I absolutely agree with you on that one and we experience that very often at our live shows. When people come to one of our shows and don´t know our music, they will try to listen to what we play very carefully. You really see the difference between someone who is in the right mood for the music and who isn´t. I am always very happy when people come to us and tell us that they really enjoyed the concert, especially because the style we chose isn´t that common. Sometimes people come to us and say, that they really liked our music, but were more in the mood for some Heavy Metal that they could party to, which I think is still very positive feedback, because it confirms what we want to achieve. We don´t want to play Party Metal, but music you need to pay attention to. It is very important for us to know how our music is percieved. I personally am glad about every constructive critique that is given to me, because only then I know how to improve myself. This also applies to the rest of the band of course. We always try to get better and it´s impossible to improve without feedback.
What has the band been doing lately ? I guess you’re writing new materials, what are we to expect ?
Lately we are organising shows to play in Germanyand other countries in Europe. We released “The Relic” last year in late September, so we want to finally perform new songs live after spening so much time writing and rehearsing them. We already have ideas for our third album though and Lenny has already begun writing some music, but there is nothing concrete yet and I don´t want to reveal too much.
What do you think about the current German underground ? What are your fave Geram underground bands and which demos you liked in 2017 ?
I percieve the German underground as very active and friendly. There are so much talented bands who all deserve more recognition and we have contact to a lot of them. I believe it´s so important that young underground bands get in contact with each other and organise events together to keep the scene active. It´s often unbelievably hard for newcomers to step fo
ot into established festivals that are considered “underground”, which is very sad. You need young and motivated bands to keep the scene fresh and interesting, but making it extra hard for these bands to reach people is preventing the scene to develop. Sadly I have not stumbled upon a demo this year, since 2017 is still relatively fresh, but I really like the new album from Sweeping Death “Astoria”. Last years Final Crusade album “Forged with Metal” was also great listening to.
Finaly What are the future projects for Skullwinx ? It’s the final question, you can conclude the interview……
We plan on producing some more albums of course and maybe a music video in the near future. We also want to make a small tour through Europe someday, but let´s not promise something we cannot keep. I want to thank you so much for the interview, it was great fun! To everyone reading this: You rock ! If you want to keep up with us, we invite you to follow us on our Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Bandcamp. Thank you so much !
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher