Interview with Maik Knappe of Dark Suns

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As a very new fan of the band, I have to ask what motivated the band to change from a mostly prog metal band on “Grave Human Genuine” to a more prog rock sound on “Orange”?

It is mostly… time. We are often asked about motivations or plans about “changing” our sound from this to that… like sitting together during a band meeting and making decisions about what should the band sound like at the follower… the answer is always the same: The band evolves with characters evolving. Each member has a special background in music, and looking at our big line-up nowadays, there is really less to non existing influence in the metal or progressive metal scene at all. It downgraded for a few of us or has never been existing. So we are – as a band – actually not into the metal genre very much. That is a fact for years and nothing special. When speaking about listening faves, maybe our keyboarder Ekky is the remaining listener of bands “belonging“ to the drawer. But we really do not care about that. Hey, maybe there is a death metal record kicking all of our asses next week, and we are thrilled so much that we want to do something fast and hard with drop A tuning… Maybe 😉

 

With “Everchild”, would you say it’s a continuation of “Orange” or a different approach?
Hmm, speaking in technical sensitivities it surely had a different approach. With “Orange” we just wanted to make a live sounding record with some new members showing that the times of a “3-piece partial band” in the end of the production of “GHG” is history. And the new songs really fiited perfect in this wish. So, if you wanna sound like playing live then you may SHOULD play live!

The pre production of “Everchild” gave the new directions quite easily and we realised that the sounds and soundscapes would ask for some “bigger“ production. Especially the various keys in addition to the strings are much more variable in sound in comparison to “Orange.” The guitars have been recorded with several amps and cabs and mics to get the most fitting result for every song because every song demanded detailed settings to get a kind of “aesthetic feeling“ in the mix. Peter did escpecially this matter with bravura.
With all of the progression of the band, how would you classify your sound now?

I don’t have a clue…. Highly dynamic sensitive music with lyrical attitudes??? 🙂
What are some of the band’s influences both past and present?

Difficult. As the line-up changed a lot, we for ourselves changed a lot.

Maybe there has been this taste for doomy but musically diverse bands/artists in the beginnings of the band; morphing after years in a more rock positioned genre; doing voluptuous campaigns in trip hop, folk or electronic territories and coming back after all well-fed and hungry at the same time for new areas. I will not name any specific names for purpose as this cannot represent the band as a whole. It can never.

 

I’ve really enjoyed the horn section and the arrangements on “Everchild.” Why did you decide to add a horn section? Was it just to add more possible colours to the sound?

We love Brass. It is a powerful sound creating a special note in rock music or better… guitar related music. Evgeny and Govinda are outstanding musicians having great bands for themselves and they are friends of us, too. Not so easy to get all of us in a room at the same time but it is worth waiting for these moments when you know them. That’s for sure.

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This also marks the debut of your “live” drummer Dominique “Gaga” Ehlert as a full member of the band. Why the change now? I’m sure Niko can still drum quite well!

To play ‘Orange’ live we knew that we’d need a live drummer, Jacob knew Gaga well, Gaga loves what we do, so one thing led to another. He is a professional musician, one of the most versatile drummers and a great guy. It is always fun working with him or having some beer and whiskey while enjoying music together or watching his latest scandalized wrestling slaughter video;-)

We’re very proud to have him in the band and on the album.

And of course Niko still has the possibility to play drums, to create beats or program a rhythm at the computer, not only for Dark Suns, but also for himself.

Not to forget, being the frontman on stage allows him to unfold, whole-bodily;-)

 

What made you decide to cover the Tori Amos track “Yes, Anastasia”?

First of all, “Yes, Anastasia” is a brilliant piece of music with exuberant emotion, strength and passion and has been an important stage for most of us in the last decade. Of course, Tori Amos at all. There are tons of more songs of her we could find equal words to describe her music. So… it may has been just a matter of time 🙂

The “Anastasia file” was some kind of sleeping project for years. The idea, or wish to do a full band arrangement goes back to 2008 while working on “Grave Human Genuine”. However we decided not to pursue this seriously as it seemed not to fit into the record and we stopped working on it before getting into it deeply. Hey, that is 8 years ago so there may have been other issues then;-)

When we finished the demos of “Everchild” in the end of 2014 the song came to our minds again and we were motivated to start working on it again. That’s it.

 

What are your touring plans?

The creation of “Everchild” was an intensive journey…Now we’re hoping to really have the opportunity to enter the stages more often. There are some little lights at the end of the tunnel regarding playing a tour or something. We love playing live…would be so awesome to meet some known faces again. It’s time! And we’re ready to kick ass!

 

Thank you for answering my questions and congratulations on a great album in “Everchild”!

“Keep an eye on the child turning somersaults, on the skyline of infinity”

 

Thank you, Rob!

Cheers, Maik

Dark_Suns_-_Everchild

Bandcamp: dark-suns.bandcamp.com

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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!
This entry was posted in art rock, progressive metal, progressive rock and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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