First, I salute you for your original metal output indeed. You started the journey back in 2015, but releasing your debut EP now, tell me were you on a hiatus?
Actually quite the opposite. After Luke and I (Barry) decided in 2015 to make music together permanently, we formed Divine Anger. Before we had played pretty much without a concept and now we formed real songs.
After we had the first material, we started looking for comrades-in-arms. And that took a little while. In 2018 we finally had our solid lineup together and could really start.
We were quite happy about how things started and turned out after a while. We played a lot of gigs, received very positive feedback and in 2020 a record deal was hanging right in front of our noses.
And then, well, then the whole madness happened with the dimension jump. We woke up here and had to start all over again. That was a real shock that we had to deal with first. Anyway, we pulled ourselves together and reproduced our EP in record time and under the most difficult conditions. And on August 6th 2021 it was finally time “Guru of Hate” was released.
First track is highly influenced by thrash power vibes but when I checked the second, it’s more heavy metal with an alternative feel. Tell me more about the EP music styles inspirations.
Yeah, it’s cool that you’re highlighting that. You can only really understand the EP if you listen to it in its entirety. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but the music cultures in our two dimensions are really quite different. we first had to learn that people here mostly only listen to single songs, don’t like long intros and don’t deal extensively with a piece of work.
But “Guru of Hate” can only be understood that way, because we didn’t commit ourselves to a very specific, narrow, style of metal, but gave each song what it needed to work and live. The lifeline here are emotions and the story that runs through all five songs and frames them at the same time.
So all in all you have a lot of influences that will jump out at you as a listener. But please don’t misunderstand: At the core, we play an aggressive style of power metal that we call Expressive Power Metal, because it can move artistically from melodic harmonic to brutally aggressive. So we already have a clear idea of what we want to represent musically, but this takes place in a very free framework, which gives us a lot of room to artistic expression.
Based on the previous question, was it planned during the songwriting process and album preparation?
Our answer above actually already implies the answer: No. We never get down to work with our heads first. For us, music comes from the heart and the gut. That means we don’t design albums on the drawing board.
The very first idea was Luke’s intro riff for D-Day. We listened to it together and thought: Hey, it sounds military somehow. That’s how it all started and all the other ideas gradually came together.
And this is ultimately the reason why our stylistic expression on this EP has become so diverse.
Although your YouTube channel has a good lyric video activity but I couldn’t find an official music video yet, are you planning to release one soon?
We are indeed planning to do that, but I wouldn’t underline the word soon. You have to keep in mind that we are completely independent and of course have very few resources shortly after the dimension jump. If we didn’t get so much great help from dear people, we wouldn’t even have been able to produce lyric videos.
We are currently thinking about a crowd funding campaign for this. But this idea needs to grow and be thought through more solidly before we can promise anything concrete on this.
“Do not follow evil leaders, because most of them are gurus of hate.” Your press kit mentions that your EP reflects WW2, still, this line is confusing, do you relate to any nowadays political events?
We have deliberately chosen WWII as the historical framework, but still aim more at general, timeless topics with our songs.
The specific occasion creates the emotional closeness with which the listener can put himself in the shoes of the scene and the people, the feeling that we want to convey, but then aims at universal aspects.
Seen in this way, we use the historical backdrop to convey something that is very important to us and is actually never limited to the backdrop itself, but goes beyond it, really regardless of time and space, if I may put it that way.
Since many bands used some sound effects during the mix for war songs, still, you preferred to keep it musically only. In your opinion, songs should be only like this without using any external sound effects?
Really cool that you ask that, because D-Day was actually full of sound effects at the beginning. But then we gradually realized that they didn’t really work and we removed them and replaced them with musical “solutions”.
So from our point of view there is nothing against sound effects, in general and especially for (anti-) war songs. On the contrary, we love many albums on which they were used. However, in the case of our debut EP, it just didn’t work musically.
Finally, thank you for the chat and tell your fans about your 2021 plans, especially that the live scene isn’t active enough recently.
After the EP is before the EP: We are already working intensively on the first songs and are totally excited about the direction it will take. We don’t want to reveal too much yet, but this much I can already say: It will be about a fictional journey, which will be told completely in manga style. So for the near future we will remain faithful to the concept album. The characters within the story will be embodied by us, which will certainly be a very exciting task for us.