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DOOMSHINE: Supreme classical doom vibes

Interview with vocalist/guitarist Timmy Holz and bassist/producer Carsten Fisch of Doomshine by Vera in October 2010

Doomshine instantly intrigued me by naming their second album ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Doom’, referring to good old Pink Floyd but excelling in proper, amazing doom excellence. That’s’ why we contacted the band and we got some interesting answers back from vocalist/guitarist Timmy Holz and bass player/producer Carsten Fisch. This band is a must for every doom aficionado!

You are a bunch of friends since 1990, but only ten years later you decided to play music together. What was the sudden impulse to do that? Do you still recall the moment when this important decision was made?
Timmy: Yeah, I do. Our drummer Schlaps is to blame! At a frustrating time when Schlaps and me spent many hours in our rehearsal room without having a bass player and no lead guitarist he asked our old buddy Sven if we should do some cover versions just for fun. We played songs from Savatage, Virgin Steele, Ozzy, Malice and Sword. After a few weeks Carsten joined again after some months we didn´t play together, so we started to write own songs.

Why doom? Who can be seen as your main influences on the music of the band?
Timmy: We have chosen to play doom because it just came out of our hearts. In the beginning we wrote songs that had absolutely nothing to do with classic doom metal and next to these compositions we wrote songs like “Shine On Sad Angel” and “Where Nothing Hurts But Solitude”. We recognized very quickly that our strongest songs have these classical doom vibes so we tried to build upon that realization. And of course we love Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Trouble and Black Sabbath, influences almost every doom band has.

As you are from Ludwigsburg, your first gig took place at the Rockfabrik. Any memories on that one?
Timmy: Yeah, that was strange. Back in 2001 our drummer Schlaps said YES as he was asked by a Rockfabrik guy to play a gig with his band there. We still hadn´t a band name at that time. We named ourselves Doomshine, rehearsed the song we had and played without any experiences or expectations. The few people who listened motivated us to go on and so we did. When we think back it´s great that the first Doomshine gig ever was in Rockfabrik.

A highlight for the band must have been your appearance at Doom Shall Rise 2003, as an unsigned band without any releases… How did it work out to play there and how do you look back on this experience?
Timmy: I can´t remember if it was a good performance because everyone of us was so nervous. Hard to believe that this was the second gig Doomshine ever played. And it also was rather by chance. Jochen Fopp from Mirror of Deception who also is the organizer of Doom Shall Rise read my words in the guestbook of Dawn of Winter. He was curious who that guy from a band called Doomshine is and he contacted me. I explained who I am and that we know each other since several years. He had total trust as I told him what kind of music we are playing and put us on the billing without hearing one song! A few weeks later we sent him the first rough version of “Shine On Sad Angel” and Jochen was blown away. So we went on stage as the very first band of the very first legendary Doom Shall Rise festival.

In 2004 you released the debut album ‘Thy Kingdoom Come’. Reflecting on this one, how would you like to describe it and what were the achievements after this release?
Timmy: “Thy Kingdoom Come” is a very beautiful doom metal album and, without praising ourselves, a fantastic debut. We really love it. It has the doom influences and this special mood that makes our sound some kind of unique. The reviews were just awesome and we couldn´t believe that it was that high placed in big magazines like Rock Hard and Heavy.

For us it was followed by a long silence… it took years before next release… what happened in the meantime?
Timmy: Come on, what the hell are six years for a bunch of lazy doomheads, haha… Really, it was a mixture of everything. Our slowness, laziness, our relaxed atmosphere in Doomshine and of course our jobs and families. Some of us made babies and built houses and next to these activities we wrote some songs and recorded them in the studio of our bass player Carsten. He was the producer, he did the mix and the cover artwork of this album. Six years are nothing…

As I wrote in my review… a title such as ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Doom’ instantly makes you think about Pink Floyd’s debut album. Are we dealing with genuine Pink Floyd fans here?
Timmy: To speak for myself, yes! I think everyone in Doomshine likes and respects Pink Floyd. I had my most intense Pink Floyd phase in the last five years. Albums like “Animals”, “The Dark Side Of The Moon” and “Wish You Were Here” are fantastic. But the best title has “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” and so I partly borrowed it. I think Pink Floyd wouldn´t say anything against it cause they are getting some free promotion from us. And David Gilmour now always has to answer the question who Doomshine is, haha.

In 2004 you were present at Dutch Doom Days in Rotterdam. How do you look back on this experience? Did you ever visit the next editions?
Timmy: No, we never were guests in Rotterdam after that. It is just too far for us. But it was a really cool weekend and we had a lot of fun in Rotterdam. Pim from Officium Triste who invited us to play back then is a great guy. I always meet him at the Doom Shall Rise in Germany. He´s no pussy like me that moans about great distances, haha.

Can you tell a bit more about your friendship with Jochen Fopp/Mirror Of Deception?
Timmy: It´s not that very deep friendship, but it is a very true one definitely. He always helped us in the beginning of Doomshine and he still spreads the word for us today. And so we do in Doomshine when we talk about Mirror of Deception. It´s not just blabla, we really love the music of each other and we have a lot of fun when we play together. Siffi from Mirror of Deception spoke some words in “Creation” on our first album and now we covered their “Vanished” on our second album. It´s kind of doomship, haha.

Your guitarist Carsten seems to be a Jack of all trades. Well, Carsten, can you tell us a bit more about your diverse works for the band?
Carsten: I like lots of creative things.. like making music, recording music, imagemanipulation and photo/video editing, creating 3D content.. and Doomshine is a way to use and combine all those things in a useful way. It came from one to another. To record and produce it myself was obvious.. if you have one guy in the band who has his own project-studio and likes to do that kind of stuff, you use that. When we began to think about the artwork, I already had some ideas, and my band mates liked it, so I did that too..

There must have been a huge difference in equipment between recording the first album and this one?
Carsten: Sure, technology is evolving, and we had a lot of new toys available for the production of the second record. A faster main computer, a nice channelstrip, new highend plugins.. but the recording process was pretty much straight forward: I catch one of my bandmembers, lock him inside the studio, and let him do his job until I was satisfied. The leap forward of the equipment gave me more options and freedom in the process of making the record, and some of the new tools were a blessing (or even saved my sanity sometimes), but what counts more is the performance of my bandmates.

The mastering was done by Andy Horn at the Red Room. Why this choice, how did you get in contact with him and how was it to work with him?
Carsten: I like to give the mastering process into other hands when I have finished the mixing of a record. This person hears the music with fresh ears and a neutral standpoint, which is hard to achieve if you are working on a record for such a long time. Andy Horn was suggested from our label Massacre Records, and after I´ve read what he worked on in the past, I agreed to let him do the mastering. And I think he really did a great job, and he was a nice person to work with.

Can you go a bit deeper into lyrics? Who writes them and are they only focused on (personal) sad feelings or can we see in as a broader project?
Timmy: We never really talked about who should write the lyrics, so I just did it from the beginning. Nobody complained about my writing so I still do it, haha. I think that lyrics always are a little bit personal. But I don´t really write about how sad I feel or things like that. Doomshine is always in company with the world around us. No depressive stuff, nothing about personal sufferings. It´s about the relationship between mankind and planet Earth, about nature, environmental pollution, the cruelty of humanity, about religion, life, death, love and hatred. It is fascinating to me how mankind came to the point we stand today, what we are able to do and which natural capabilities we´ve lost. What is evolution about, does God exist? Life is a journey with millions of questions.

Are there plans for gigs or touring?
Timmy: We surely will play some gigs next year but in 2010 nothing will happen. There´s another Doomshine baby to come in November, so we will be on stage in January at the earliest. The only confirmed gig until now is at Metal Inferno festival in Paderborn which is in April 2011.

Any special plans for the upcoming tenth anniversary of the band soon?
Timmy: What? Ten years?? Damn… erm, no… but as we know now, we could start planning for the 15th anniversary, haha.

What are your plans and wishes for the near future?
Timmy: What we really are looking for is writing new songs, playing some gigs in 2011 and I hope there will be a vinyl version of “The Piper”. Hey, are you out there? Please contact us!

I wish you success in booking some shows in our areas too and thanks a lot for this interview!
Timmy We have to thank YOU to be so patient with us. Shine on!!!

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 21 oktober 2010 - 12:20:09
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