When was Dementia formed and what is the current line-up of the band?
After some line-up changes in earlier times, we found a first complete band in 1994. That was the time, when we decided to record our "Abiosis"-Demo, which happened in 1995. But the drummer wasn't the best; he neither was into our music nor played his kit the way we would appreciate it. So we asked a friend of another band called MALIGNANT to play the drums, and he said okay. Then, in 1996 we recorded the "Blackstone"-CD in self-release with that guy, who was now a real member of the band. And that recording line-up is the same as it is now, what means: Gerry Mayerhofer-drums, Martin Mueller-guitars, Heiko Schach-guitars, Andreas Mueller-bass, Stephan Nowotny-vocals (that is me). But last year, we found a new keyboarder to join the band. So our guitarist Heiko lost his job on the keys, which he didn't like, by the way! Joerg Rupp is the name of the sixth band member so far, who plays the guitar next to the keys as well.
How have you changed in the years since your formation, musically?
I think all of us have developed the work in their part of the band. New influences come and go. That's why our Demo sounds like melodic Death Metal, "Blackstone" the same way, but we thought more about the songs and the presentation, and our new CD (more later in the interview) sounds like a sampler of different bands. Each song on it lay in the hands of the person, who wrote it. Joergs songs have that progressive Rock feeling, Martin's the brutal Death Metal combined with melody and Heikos the complex and totally worked out Metal.But everybody can hear the DEMENTIA-style out of all the three
There seem to be a lot of bands from Germany. Are there a lot of people who are into Death/Black/ Grind Metal?
Yes, we have a lot of bands here in Germany, but I think the most of them in the underground. Famous bands, who play the kind of music you wrote in the question, are only a few ones. But never forget the underground! There are a lot of great unknown bands! And the fans? In our area (in the south of Germany) there are some, but it could be better. Everybody knows everyone, personally or only from seeing. But I think there are enough fans of the harder side of Metal to keep the scene alive!
Is there a communal spirit between bands, 'zines and fans? Do people tend to get along with other bands?
I think the communication is okay. But relationship is the most important factor to get known, to get concerts, to get a place in the chaos. And there are big assholes as everywhere, unfriendly or "Yes-we-are-the-best"-bands! But they are only the small part, luckily! Most bands we played with are really nice; you can have cool parties with them. German beer tastes fine!
What are some of the better bands you can think of? Which other bands do you like?
I'm only into Death/Black Metal, so I can't tell you something about the Power Metal bands, for example. Better bands? Hmmm, well-known bands as FLESHCRAWL (raw Death Metal with a cool sound), BETHLEHEM (really sick Black Metal, never heard such inhuman vocals), BLIND GUARDIAN (Power Metal, have success, but I don't know more), OBSCENITY (good Death Metal, progressive and groovy), And there are some rather "unknown" bands like FALLEN YGGDRASIL (real Death Metal, melodic and chaotic), NECROPHAGIST (very good musicians, complex high-speed Death Metal), INNER GROTESQUE (great Death Metal),....! My favorites are all this bands (except Blind Guardian, of course) and combos like OPETH, KATATONIA, MORBID ANGEL, SUFFOCATION, NAPALM DEATH, ABIGOR, IMPALED NAZARENE, SADIST, MACABRE, .....Too much to name!!!
When will your CD be out?
Good question, Jim! We recorded the new stuff in August 1999. Then a strange guy (alias asshole) tried to manage the preparation for the booklet, but he needed so much time and so many ass-kicks in doing this, that you surely can understand the word in the ()'s. Martin had to give many phone calls, he just can't count until that number of them. But now the asshole did it (surprise, surprise) and the show can go on. I think in a month or so you can get the new CD!
What will it be titled? Any songs written yet?
The new CD is based on a Fantasy story, so it is a concept album. We named it "The Elfstones' chronicles". We were influenced by a Fantasy book of the author Terry Brooks. So the music and the lyrics are involved into each other. Of course we've rehearsed some new songs, and perhaps one or two are nearly ready for a recording, but in my opinion a songs feeling can change after a while, so you better should "repair" it again. If I take a listen to older songs, which changed by time to new ones, they are sounding better to me now, because I can identify myself with them now...and not for example two years ago. So all these very new songs aren't surely ready and not changeable! But the new ones are really cool so far....
Will we notice a big change between this CD and your last CD "Blackstone"?
Hmmm...Yes, I think so ("I think" is most said in this interview)! Joerg brought a new style (Prog-Rock) in the band, and through his keyboard playing he reaches new dimensions for us. All songs are pieced with those keys, much more than on "Blackstone", on which we seldom used keys. As I said before, the new stuff is a variety of different music styles, where each song sounds different from the others. Of course, all in combination with the typical DEMENTIA!!! Much more things to hear out of the songs than on the first CD...The only thing I could vomit on is that the sound could be better and the recording time was too short. Okay, the sound isn't bad, but this guy there made a mix out of it, which could be better, especially the drum sound! But we learned of all that (like we always do on recording sessions) and next time we will take our time!!! No more 24 hours all the week without sleep and exploding nerves.... a,Ha,Ha....
Will the new CD be released by a label or will it be self-released?
"Blackstone" was okay, and so is the new one. Means we self-released it with all our money, which we don't have! That's why we had so "much" time. We thought about a home recording next time, so we can spend a lot of time during the sessions. We'll see...
You also have a Split-EP with FALLEN YGGDRASIL. How did you get involved with that project? When will it be out? How many songs are you doing for it?
Yes, that will be a great Split-EP. I will be very, very happy to hold it in my hands! FALLEN YGGDRASIL is a band next to our small city in the south of Germany. So we know them well, had much beers together and played some concerts together. They're crazy Metal-fans, who play great Death Metal! Their two songs will blow your ass away.The vocalist sounds a little bit like the old MESSIAH-shouter (a band from Switzerland), while the guitars sound Sweden-Death-influenced. Blast beats included. We made only one song (ca. 6 min.) for it called "The Whitechapel Horror". So everybody should know what it is about. I think the EP is out the next few days. Again hopefully....By the way, look out for the demo of FALLEN YGGDRASIL called "Odysee in sorrow". Great stuff....
Is your "Abiosis"-demo still available? Did most of the songs of it get re-released on the "Blackstone"-CD?
No, the demo is completely sold out. We made 500 of it, send many to 'zines, fans, And no song will be ever released two times! I don't like this, because in my opinion it's a money-thing on the one hand and a "Hello-we-are-better-now"-thing on the other hand. No song of DEMENTIA will be re-released, like the song on the Split-EP with FALLEN YGGDRASIL! So better buy it, ha, ha,....
Have you gotten much attention from North America? Where would you say your biggest fan base is located?
Hmmm...The letters and packets usually go to Martin and Andreas, because as brothers it's easier to manage all the stuff. So I don't know exactly, but I think that we didn't get much attention from there. The most letters and stuff came from Italy and some other European countries. But at the moment it's kind of calm, because we had a big break since our last record. Hope that it'll change after a month...
Any final comments?
THANX a lot for the interview, Jim! Doing it was an honour for me.Big greetings to you and all the Metal fans in Canada! Perhaps you try a listen to our new CD! And good luck with the Corrosion Zine! Bye!