The underground metal scene has been thriving in recent years. With more and more bands creating a destructive audio assault, the competition for bands to shine in the underground has never been more difficult. Germany’s DESERTED FEAR have been slogging away in the underbelly of death metal for some years now and 2017 sees the release of album number three, Dead Shores Rising (read our review here). Before the release of the album next week, we caught up with guitarist Fabian Hildebrandt to talk about the album, its messages and themes alongside what the band are striving to achieve with their sonic assault.
Your new album, Dead Shores Rising, is out next week. What can fans expect from your new album?
Fabian: Well, I think it is DESERTED FEAR style death metal! Maybe, a bit more melodic than the previous record but for us it’s nothing new! Maybe what’s new for us is being on a new label. It’s a new situation and that I can do interviews internationally, that’s really cool!
So it has been three years since your last record, Kingdom of Worms, how has the band progressed in that time?
Fabian: Well we played a lot of live shows since Kingdom of Worms was released, it was a big next step! We played with MORGOTH, we played with MORBID ANGEL, HEAVEN SHALL BURN and we played really big festivals like Party San and Summer Breeze. Musically, I think we are better musicians now because of all the live shows. One live show is better than ten times rehearsing.
So for the writing and recording for the record, can you describe the steps you took for Dead Shores Rising?
Fabian: It was the same process we took with the previous record. We always record in our rehearsal room on our own. I’m really interested in all the technical stuff so I bought some microphones and interface stuff but yeah, since the first album we record on our own and it is pretty relaxed. There is no studio deadline, you don’t have to pay for it so if it doesn’t work you can take a break, go home and pick it up the next day. It’s pretty chilling for the other guys but for me, it’s a bit stressful because I have to record, press the record button and start playing, but it is a lot of fun! It was mixed by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY) and we were really happy to have the chance to work with him again. We love the new sound.
I read that you utilise a home studio for a lot of the recording aspects for the band. What sort of impact does that bring to your overall sound?
Fabian: I think you can’t hear it, that it was recorded in our home studio! For us, it’s cool, we live outside of the city near the forest. So you can go out and sit near the forest and just chill, it’s more relaxing than before.
You eluded to it earlier with the independence of using your own rehearsal space. How important is that independence to the development of the sound of DESERTED FEAR?
Fabian: That’s a good question because I just know it! It’s how it is. It’s always been like that so there hasn’t been much changes in the past. Sorry!
With the advances in technology, do you find it a lot easier to operate as a band and record music?
Fabian: Oh yes, of course. You don’t need a 32 track analogue mixer these days, a small interface is enough to record guitars and vocals. For drums, you need a bit more, I think it is a lot easier because you can also find videos on YouTube. How to record, how to mix demo songs, it’s easier to get in touch with other people who are doing the same thing. I think that is the reason why there are so many metal bands today!
So would you say that extreme music is in a good place right now?
Fabian: Yeah, of course!
Moving onto the lyrics and themes that are present on the new album. What sort of areas are you looking to explore lyrically with Dead Shores Rising?
Fabian: Oh it is not your typical splatter death metal lyrics, I think it is more about personal feelings like hate, love, your own problems. Making your own life better and dealing with people who talk shit about you, personal problems I would say.
It is certainly a very aggressive album and there is a lot of groove with the riffs. I can draw influences from the iconic bands within death metal. For you as a musician, what sort of influences drive you to create your own sound?
Fabian: Well, nowadays we don’t really listen to much new bands. There is still stuff like DISMEMBERED and the old IN FLAMES rotating in our players so I think you can hear the Swedish style of death metal. Also you can hear stuff like ASPHYX or to name a US band I would say OBITUARY as a main influence for DESERTED FEAR. But I would say we have found our own style.
So with the album set for release next Friday, what are you hoping to achieve with the album?
Fabian: Well, certainly with signing to Century Media, we are hoping to get a chance to do a European tour. It is our dream to get on a bus and go across Europe, waking up in a different city each morning. So we hope we can get this with the new album, like I said earlier, it’s so cool to do interviews with people all over the world and yeah, it’s so much fun! So, we’re just going to see what happens with what we can achieve with the new album.
At the start of this interview you mentioned a few of the live shows you have done in the run-up to writing this new album. With your career so far with DESERTED FEAR what have been some of your stand-out moments?
Fabian: Party San Open Air. It’s our home festival and there all death metal friends in Germany so you meet so many people! It was really cool to go there and play there because it was always our dream to play on that stage. Goosebumps everywhere! I will never forget entering the stage and see all the people in front of us, our friends and fans in Germany. It was really cool and it was the first time we had fire on the stage, it was really crazy!
So with you achieving all of that and that the band is approaching a major milestone of approaching ten years, what are your future ambitions?
Fabian: We don’t know where we want to go because we have never played a European tour before!We just think from day to day and look at what we can make with the band. We also have jobs and we like our jobs so we don’t want to make the band as a job so we just look at how far we can go with the band.
Well just to round up, with the album coming out next week, what plans are in store for 2017 with DESERTED FEAR? Do you have many European festivals lined up for the summer?
Fabian: Yeah, first we have three release shows at the end of January with DESASTER, black thrash heroes from Germany and our friends in ROGASH Then we have a show in March with HEAVEN SHALL BURN, also a big band from here, in April we have eight shows with MANTAR and DEATHRITE who are really good underground bands from Germany. Then we have some festivals, some smaller ones in Germany and Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic. Probably some other ones but we don’t know yet!
Well brilliant, thank you for taking the time to talk to Distorted Sound Fabian, best of luck with the album release and your future plans!
Fabian: Thank you very much!
Dead Shores Rising is set for release on January 27th via Century Media Records.
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