Interview with progressive death metal masters Steorrah

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How would you guys categorize Steorrah’s sound, other than being progressive death metal?
Andreas: I’m not sure I consider Progressive Death Metal to be the same thing as most people do. These days it seems to be associated with Djent a lot, something which I am passionately not interested in. Personally I have a Jazz background, therefore I’m interested in harmonic and disharmonic material, rather than in generic rhythmical chugga-chugga.

Nicolao: I second that! I would say it is proggy Death Metal with a jazzy and doomy edge. But frankly, I don’t care too much about how we are being labeled. That will be, and already has been, done by the press anyway. These things are out of our control.

Raoul: Steorrah’s individual sound is a bit like this two-faced Roman god, I suppose: The Death Metal parts couldn’t be as intense without the acoustic/jazzy parts and vice versa. It’s like exploring both sides of melancholy, the mania and the depression. Plus it evokes similar associations as a good old gothic novel.
Who are your influences both individually and as a group?
Andreas: On a personal level there are so many…but the aesthetics that shape Steorrah stem from early Tiamat, Edge Of Sanity, Opeth, Ephel Duath, I guess.

Nicolao: Well, Andreas, your songwriting is the backbone of Steorrah’s sound, and to be honest I never thought about which of my influences I bring into the band. What do you think, from knowing my other creative output? What I will say is that often I just reacted to complement what was already written and what was demanded by the music itself, or searching for space to place my parts. The largest bit that I contributed to the album, is the entire interlude part of The Milk of Human Kindness, which turned out to be influenced by 70’s Prog Rock, I guess mostly due to the Mellotron.

Andreas: I’m not sure that was actually the question, Nico. Sure, the majority of the riffs and melodies came from my side but you contributed a lot to the arrangements and certainly to the production. As far as musical influences are concerned, let me use this rare opportunity to sneak in the hidden truth that Nico mainly listens to music by Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Smurfs and the Wombles. And Disco.

Raoul: As a bass player I hugely admire versatile specimen of the same kind. e.g. Kristofer Gildenlöw (former Pain of Salvation) for the ability of pulling off virtuoso stuff while contributing a great deal to the constitution of a song. I try to incorporate elements from classical Indian music into my playing and adapt “licks” from violin sonatas by Bach. With Steorrah i have been playing thoroughly composed and recorded material so far, but i try to give it a little personal touch by playing more finger-style than my predecessor and, at intervals, I may toss in a dash of slapping and tapping. And I most certainly like Opeth.

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What are the concepts behind “Thin White Paint”?
Andreas: It’s not really a concept album. The only thing that approximates something like a lyrical concept is the reoccurring motifs of nightmare scenarios. But that’s rather vague. Musically our concept was to solidify the band into a songwriting unit. II: Thin White Paint has a lot more aspects that come from actual musical collaboration, as opposed to the An Eroticism In Murder album which the band crystalised around during the recording process.

My favorite tracks at the moment are “Runt of the Litter,” “Winchester Geese,“ and ”The Milk of Human Kindness.”
What are your favorite tracks on “Thin White Paint” both to play and just in general.

Nicolao: Hard to answer, really…. At this point: I Think I Saw the Black Dog, The Twelve Nights of 1984 and Winchester Geese. Ask me tomorrow for a different answer 😉

Andreas: I Think I Saw the Black Dog, the acoustic version, and Misericordia/The Great Gig In Disguise. On stage it would be Merely An Interlude and The Milk of Human Kindness.

Raoul: Tea Leaves for Eosphoros is a nice one to play, while Winchester Geese is rather nasty, but a great tune though. Still, The Milk of Human Kindness and the electric reprise of I Think I Saw the Black Dog are my overall favourite tracks of the album.

How has the addition of Raoul Zillani as your new bassist effected you guys as a band?

Andreas: It made us a functioning unit again. He’s grand, he’s a very creative bass player and has a good singing voice. Plus, he’s a perfectly nice chap and we’ve known him for years.

Nicolao: Exactly, I hope that we can elaborate our vocal harmonies further, I see great potential for the future! How he will change the creative process in general is something we don’t know to the whole exted yet, but are willing to find out as soon as possible.
What are your touring plans?

Andreas: We are somewhat limited by the day jobs of a few band members, as far as touring is concerned. At the moment we’re working on an autumn tour through Germany though.
Thank you guys for taking the time to answer my questions. I love “Thin White Paint” and cannot wait to hear more from you!

You’re welcome! Thank you for having us.

 
To purchase a copy of Steorrah’s masterpiece “II: Thin White Paint.” Click here.
Visit the band on their website and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/STEORRAH.

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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