=> I founded Bitterfeldt in 2012 with my long-term friend Sascha (guitar, didgeridoo). Supported by Matze (Ex-CREMATORY, guitars), Oliver (EVEREVE, bass) and Christian Bass (HEAVEN SHALL BURN, drums) as well as by sound artists such as Sascha Dürk (multiple winner of the Future Music Award) and André Höche, we produced our first album Götzen.Dämmerung which will be released at the 24th of March by Massacre records. After that we are heading for world domination…:-)
2.You have an album coming out in March, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
=> That´s quite difficult – and you might know that no artist likes this question..:-).
On our website www.bitterfeldt.com you will find some snippets giving you a first impression of our sound. Some people refer to it as „Dark Doom Gothic Metal“ (whatever that means....).
Our vision was to create something real intense, deep, dark and epic. A massive wall of sound and atmosphere, coming over you like a bulldozer..:-). Love it or hate it, but do not ignore it. And if you are open-minded, you may find yourself on a psycho journey through different emotions, facing your inner demons, haunting you by revealing your subconscious fears. So the songs are about 10 minutes each to „tell a real story“. With this project I do not care about the „classical rules“ of songwriting, I just did what felt right to me. We also included some atmospheric parts in the songs that sound like a movie soundtrack. Very psycho and gloomy parts with a lot of ambiance, sound effects and strange noises.
3.Some of your lyrics quote Nietzsche, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this philosopher?
=> Yes, you are right. We included some quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche in the lyrics, especially in the instrumental parts between the songs where we recruited a professional speaker who did a great job. Nietzsche is an interesting personality with a lot of inner contradictions – and he also presented the concept of the „antichrist“. We are no satanic band practicing devil worshiping or something like this. But of course the deeper meaning of Nietzsche´s concept is to be critical about the „Gods“ that have been created by religion, politics as well as by society and the moral standards. So the message is to stay open-minded, independent and autonomous. Keep your own will, free spirit and sovereignty - and live up to your own convictions and beliefs. This does not mean that you have to be 100 percent „evil“ or „non-conformist“ – it is more about liberation from restrictions and establishing your unique personality.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Bitterfeldt'?
=> Actually we liked the sound of the word and the combination of two strong notions i.e. „Bitter“ and „Feld“ („Bitterfeldt“ might be translated as „Field of Bitterness“). There is also a town in Germany that is called „Bitterfeld“- but there is no connection between this town and the band. Hence the different way of spelling with the „t“ at the end. But one journalist mentioned that from his point of view the music of bitterfeldt (and the mood) fits somehow to some pictures from the town Bitterfeld that has been featured in the media during the 80´s and 90´s. And I guess, he is right. In fact Bitterfeld is located in former Eastern Germany and it was the town where all the chemical industry facilities were located. So the Bitterfeld pictures in the news usually showed a dark grey sky, bleak landscapes with old factories – somehow an image of depression and hopelessness. Nowadays the town seems to be quite nice. But this old pictures remained in the memories of my generation. So maybe it has been influencing us unintentionally when we decided to call the band Bitterfeldt, I do not know.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
=> Due to the fact that the members of Bitterfeldt used to play in several quite well-known bands in the past – such as EverEve, Crematory, Belladonna (Anthrax) etc. each of us played countless live shows - smaller ones and bigger ones. Throughout the years I played about 500 gigs and personally I liked the tour with Hypocrisy and The Kovenant we did with EverEve. I also enjoyed some headliner shows in the US, South America and Russia - and of course the big festivals we played with EverEve, e.g. Wacken, Mera Luna, Euro Rock etc.
Concerning Bitterfeldt we have only just begun to make plans about live shows, tours etc. Let´s see how the album will be received by the fans, then let´s see when and where we are going to play live. We will do a couple of club gigs to get into shape and test a few things. Of course a Bitterfeldt show will not just be „going on stage and playing the songs“. We have a strong visual concept in our album design, photos and videos - and so we will transfer this attitude to our live shows as well. It will probably be pure madness...:-)))
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
=> see answer above....
We will see if there are good offers for festival shows or tours –and then we will definitely kick ass...
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of dark, doom and goth metal?
=> Even though the album has not been released so far, the feedback has been really great. Of course our former activities in other bands have helped us, so we are no newcomers but old dicks roaming in the metal scene for ages..:-). But we really appreciate the positive resonance of the press and the fans with their interest in the band. Bitterfeldt is no easy-listening stuff. So from a commercial point of view it is challenging stuff. I am really happy that we got some offers from big labels to make sure that the album will be released in an appropriate way. Especially the guys from Massacre Records got the right impression about our spirit and liked it from the very beginning. But even if we had not not got the chance to receive a record deal we would have published the album anyway. I am not interested in „marketing“ aspects. Bitterfeldt is about being authentic, not about selling millions of records. We want to express our creativity - without any restrictions or the usual business thoughts and rules in mind. If people keep on enjoying our music, Bitterfeldt will prevail.
8.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
=> To be 100 percent correct, the the Bitterfeldt line-up only consists of Sascha and me. Sascha also plays in a Punk Band called Torrent. EverEve has never split up officially so I am still in EverEve – but I am focussed 100 Percent on Bitterfeldt.
But of course there are some more guys involved in Bitterfeldt (recording and live line-up). And these great artists have their other musical projects as well. Matze quit Crematory a couple of months ago but he still plays guitars in a Death Metal Band called „Shit for Brains“. Oliver (bass) plays in a Power Metal band called „Surrender the Crown“, Christian of course plays drums in „Heaven Shall Burn“ and Martin (live drums) has a lot of projects, too. So it seems as if we are all well-occupied making some noise – Music is our life!
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
=> I am pretty sure that we will keep on doing what we have been doing so far – that means trying to create the perfect soundtrack for the apocalypse. So it is not just about being heavy as shit but also about reflecting different „psycho states“ and the „abysses of the mind“. And both lyrically and musically we will go as deep and intense as possible.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I am interested in a wide variety of musical styles and genres. I listen to classical music as well as to avantgarde pop and independent stuff - and also to electronic music. But of course my favourite music was, is (and probably will ever be) „dark“ music, especially extreme metal.
I discovered Gothic Music in the 90´s, too, but my roots are metal-ish. The first band I adored (and still do, especially the old stuff) was Iron Maiden as I bought the Powerslave album. I soon switched to more extreme metal bands such as Slayer (still rules!), Kreator, Exodus, Celtic Frost, Death, Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Bathory, Dark Throne, etc. And I always liked the slow real heavy doom stuff, e.g. Asphyx, Triptykon or Neurosis. So with Bitterfeldt it is like a return to my roots.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
=> Dreams, Sex and Death...:-))
I am also a big fan of movies, especially in the „film noir“ style of the 40´s. Consequently with Bitterfeldt we just finished the production of our first video film (we call it video FILM as it is more than 13 minutes long). We tried to create something special, fitting perfectly to the music. It is no music video but a „film noir“ in black & white, with real actors, a story and a lot of symbols, metaphors and moods. The video will be released at the 28th of february. You will find all relevant information about the video release on www.massacre-records.com.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
=> First of all I would like to thank you for the interview and the inspiring questions. On behalf of all the guys involved in Bitterfeldt I would like to express my gratitude to all the fans for their support. I like the fact that there are still people appreciating true authentic extreme music – so let´s make dark metal great again...:-)