Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 74 - Interview with The New Black

THE NEW BLACK

Interview by Dave Bott


The New Black are a German Rock five piece who have been together since 2008, releasing albums on a regular basis and touring with a host of big names along the way. Their fourth album 'A Monster's Life' is about to be released and is a great collection of songs comparable to a number of other artists but ultimately unique. They may be something of a new name to many people so it is only proper to find out more. Vocalist Fludid is the man with the answers...


The-New-Black Interview



'A Monster's Life' is a bold musical statement that brings together a number of styles yet still manages to sound fresh and relevant. Just what are the musical influences of everyone in the band and do you think they come through in the songs on the album?


They definitely shape the album, that's for sure. Our different musical influences have all helped to create what you hear today basically. Over the last six years, the music has changed a little bit. Most people can probably hear that the vocal lines aren't as Metal as the guitar sounds now. But for me, if the combination of it still feels bold and fresh, which it certainly does, then I suppose we've done something right?

You've toured in the past with the likes of AC/DC, Volbeat, Alter Bridge and Black Label Society but your profile in the UK is relatively low. How do you think the new album will change that and will you be doing your own headline tour to promote it?

That "Headline Tour" tag always conveys the impression of showing up in big arenas, no? We actually start our own 'headline tour' straight after the release of this record but this will happen in small clubs throughout Germany and Switzerland primarily.
In today's social media times the chance to sell your tunes abroad increases. However you never get a real overview of how you can push that. We were pleasantly surprised when we packed our crowd-funding mail out this time; a lot of those packages went to Australia, the UK and other neighbouring countries. Help us spread the word in the UK and we´re coming definitely.

Some of the songs on 'Monster's Life', I'm thinking 'Buddha Belly', 'The Beer Of No Return' and 'A Pill Named Ting', have quite a quirky subject matter, so I'm guessing you don't take yourselves too seriously?

Leim-sen' (Christof Leim – Guitar) and I share the job of writing the lyrics. During my whole career as a musician I've never seen myself as a role model, with a raised finger, pointing out grievances in our society. I think making music and especially performing on stage should be more about entertaining than preaching. Quirky is just fine by me.
We've changed the working process on this album a little bit, compared to previous records though. This time Fabian (Schwarz – Guitar) wrote all the music to the lyrics, so we've had to meet deadlines. For me it was the first time that I've really sat down, made myself comfortable, poured some scotch and started just writing...

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In my opinion your sound is actually more American than European and I've mentioned in my review of the new CD that if I hadn't been sent the bio I would never have known you were from Germany. Do you think that is a fair assessment?

We can live with that, yes. I think it is really cool and important these days to sound international. Even though we've never tried to consciously go for an 'American' direction, I am relieved with your assessment because there is nothing worse than a German singer who sings English lyrics with an accent!

'A Monster's Life' is your fourth album in just seven years, which can almost be considered prolific in this day and age. Does that mean ideas are being developed all the time or does the creative process just begin when you feel it is time to go into the studio again?

Actually both. We have undone and changed some parts of old songs which we already recorded for demos years ago, and yet we've also had fresh inspiration along the way as well. The creative process really starts with the idea of making a new album. With TNB it's a logical cycle I guess. We make a record, perform it as often as possible, then want to restart the fun all over again. It can soon get pretty boring playing the same stuff over and over again. We had a load of fun rehearsing these songs and can´t wait to get them on stage now.

How do you think the band's sound has changed from album one to four?

Even though it still sounds like TNB, the arrangements have definitely changed over the years. Everything is much clearer and more to the point now. Jacob Hansen (producer) did a great job pushing our sound to a higher level and showing us new perspectives concerning the song writing. It all seems fatter and more concise.
Of course, it took three albums to get to this point. From starting with self-recorded songs in Fabian's cellar, to putting out a high-end, fat-sounding album with a great producer on the current album. Being in a band is not always about "just rockin´"; it can be even more exciting if you learn how to develop it further and further.

You've worked with Jacob Hansen on the last two albums as you say, and he is definitely a producer with an established pedigree. So what else does he add to The New Black sound and how did you get to work with him in the first place?

Yes, we've known Jacob since album number three. On that one he actually mixed our stuff in his studio in Denmark. We were so impressed by the result that after deciding to work with a producer, it was clear to us that we had to get him on board. A lot of people at the time told us that there was much more power in our sound when we play live and our advantage was that Jacob already knew how we sounded on stage, so it was relatively easy to find a suitable compromise sound-wise on a studio album. Jacob transposed everything we wanted and looking back, it was definitely the right thing to do.

Where is the biggest market for The New Black in terms of sales and touring?

Well, I guess we'll have to find out. We´re ready to hit every road on this planet right now. We are still increasing our fan community in Germany but the international feedback is awesome and we still hope to play more in foreign countries. We can't wait to bring these tracks to the stage now. Of course, we need to promote 'A Monster´s Life' with a tour right away but it's also much more than that. The album release is relatively late, so unfortunately we probably won´t play too many festivals this year. But after a few months we'll see how the people like our work, then we can plan further and play as much as we can, nationally and internationally. Then, when we feel it´s time for album number five, the fun will begin all over again.

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